Monday, June 29, 2009


2004. Rated PG-13, 132 minutes.
Director: Guillermo Del Toro.
Starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, John Hurt, Doug Jones, Jeffrey Tambor.

Plot: After coming through a portal opened by the bad guys, Hellboy (Perlman) is adopted by the good guys and becomes the main guy on a team of paranormal heroes that fight paranormal villains. Sixty years have past and the original baddies are not only back, they're after Hellboy to help them destroy Earth.

The Good: One drawback to being the first movie in a comic book franchise is you have to back to the source's humble beginnings and provide virgins to the character an origin story. This movie dispenses with that bit of business in a thankfully quick and exciting manner. Once done with that, it spends the majority of it's time on action scenes of some sort. Occasionally, it pauses for "Red," as he's called by his friends, to deal with his love life and the increasingly strenuous relationship with his "father" (Hurt). Luckily, its effective at weaving those things in rather than dawdling on them for the most part.

The Bad: There are a few plotholes, which is to be expected, so they're there but not deal breakers. What nearly is a deal breaker is the idiocy of our main villain's (Rasputin played by Karel Roden) plan. It follows the well-worn and even more stupid movie logic of really bad guy wants to unleash a far more powerful and even worse being upon the world. It stands to reason there's not really anything to do after you destroy the world, now is there? Anyhoo, there is one other aspect that bugged me. It seems as if Wolverine of the X-Men simply had his personality and some other traits transplanted to a red body with a stone hand instead of claws, giving us Hellboy. It got to the point where everytime he spoke I couldn't help but think "that's exactly what Wolverine would say."

The Ugly: The very cool Karl Kroenen (Ladislav Beran) without a mask.

Recommendation: Comic book fans and fans of comic book movies should have at it. Its heavy on the action and has enough light humor to keep it moving at brisk pace. It is certainly not the best the genre has to offer but since its thoroughly "okay," its far from the worse.

The Opposite View: Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide

What the Internet Says: 6.8/10 on (6/29/09), 80% on, 72/100 on

MY SCORE: 6.5/10

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